I always aim for fifers: Ashwin

Nagpur, Nov 27 (IANS) Declared Man-of-the-Match for his 12-wicket haul, India’s star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin said he looks for five-wicket haul every time he goes on to bowl just like batsmen aims at making hundreds.

The Tamil Nadu spinner, who had five scalps in the first innings, returned with figures of 7/66 in the second innings, to help hosts beat South Africa by 124 runs in the third Test and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match series at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here on Friday.

Resuming the third day at 32/2, South Africa were bowled out for 185 in their second innings while chasing a target of 310 runs. India had won the first Test at Mohali while the second Test in Bengaluru was washed out due to heavy rains. The fourth and final Test will be played in New Delhi from December 3.

“There were two teams out there, one was trying to fight and the other was trying to win – I feel that was the difference between the two teams. A batsman goes out to make a 100 and a bowler goes out to get a fifer, that’s how I do it,” Ashwin said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“I thought the wicket slowed down a bit today, it was something that was expected because it was dry from underneath. Faf du Plessis and Hashim Amla fought hard, so we had to do something special,” he said.

The spinner credited his team-mate and leg-spinner Amit Mishra (3/51), who also made merry on the crumbling pitch including the crucial ones of South African skipper Hashim Amla and Faf du Plesis.

“I thought Mishra bowled a wonderful spell after lunch. We prised out the wickets of Amla and Faf. Mishra got us right back into the game with those two wickets and it was always uphill for them from there on. Any batsman who comes out there and trusts his defence will pose a challenge for a spinner,” Ashwin said.

Ashwin is the now the highest wicket-taker of 2015 with 55 scalps in his kitty, ahead of England pacer Stuart Broad (51). The last time an Indian bowler had taken 50 or more Test wickets in a year was in 2008 when off-spinner Harbhajan Singh took 53.

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